Having returned from my holiday in France 11 days ago now (but who’s counting) there has only been a single day when the sun has shone here in my part of the South East.
I started to get excited about summer returning on Saturday as it was actually warm and sunny, and I even bought a bag of BBQ charcoal and dragged the barbecue out of the shed. But, sadly, by Sunday the rain had returned and it just seems to be getting worse – it was verging on a storm this morning.
My memories of 34°C in the Loire Valley, sunshine and blue skies are beginning to fade fast.
On the downside that means every time I think I have a chance of doing something in the garden I have to put it off.
On the upside all of my plants are thriving because of all the water and I’ve hardly had to water my tubs all summer so they are looking fantastic. Even one of a pair of large box balls that I had been cultivating for over 10 years, which I thought was beyond saving after an ant’s nest took up residence around it’s roots, is now thriving. Huge thanks to my neighbour’s gardener who suggested removing as much of the soil from the root ball as possible and replacing it with new compost and a healthy dose of fish blood and bone.
This was no mean feat just to get the thing out of the pot undamaged – that was a 2-man job, as it is about 50cm in diameter. But it worked! Anyone who knows the cost of large box ball plants will know why I am so pleased to have rescued it.
Back in early July I had some beautiful grey slate tiles laid at the front of the house with bullnose edges where there is a step up at the front door. They look fabulous and with all the rain have generally looked a very dark shade of grey but when they dry out they look much lighter. I knew to expect this but when the tiles were first laid I was recommended a colour intensifier product by Fila that would treat them to look dark grey all the time and also protect from staining (well, for around a couple of years anyway until they recommend re-treating).
But the tin is just gathering dust in the garage because it shouldn’t be applied if rain is expected within 24-36 hours and there literally hasn’t been a rain-free period for that long since I returned from France. I will continue to monitor the weather forecasts and hope for 2 or 3 days of dry weather so I can apply a couple of coats.
In the meantime I will take consolation from my healthy plants and continue hoping for better weather so I can enjoy my outside space…